Bellflower (Calif.) five-star D.J. Uiagalelei is one of the most highly sought-after recruits in the country.
However, the nation’s top-rated quarterback regardless of class says the recruiting process isn’t really a concern for him right now.
“The recruiting process is going good,” Uiagalelei told The Clemson Insider. “I’m not really paying attention to it very much, just getting ready for the season and trying to stay focused for the season.”
As a sophomore last season, Uiagalelei passed for more than 2,700 yards and 29 touchdowns against just two interceptions. The class of 2020 prospect also rushed for close to 400 yards and four more scores on 67 carries.
Uiagalelei (6-4, 240) enters his junior season with big expectations for his St. John Bosco squad that is No. 1 in the MaxPreps preseason national rankings.
“Win a national championship and go undefeated,” he said. “That’s our goal this year.”
Clemson is among the many schools in pursuit of Uiagalelei, who is ranked by Rivals as the No. 1 overall prospect in the 2020 class.
He received an offer from the Tigers in June and said he communicates regularly with head coach Dabo Swinney and quarterbacks coach Brandon Streeter.
“It’s just like talking to a family member,” Uiagalelei said of his conversations with the coaches. “It’s like I’m talking to another person, it’s not like I’m talking to a coach.”
Uiagalelei picked up the offer while on campus for the Swinney Camp in June. He hopes to return to Clemson for a game in the fall, though his visit plans for the season are still up in the air.
“I want to, but I don’t know if I am now,” he said of visiting Clemson. “I’m not sure yet.”
Regardless, Uiagalelei said he wants to bring his parents to Clemson at some point. They have yet to see the program firsthand, but have grown fond of the Tigers from afar.
“They like Clemson a lot,” he said. “My mom likes it. My mom likes the coaching staff. She thinks it’s a great group of men there. My dad likes it a lot. He hasn’t really looked into it as much as my mom has, but he likes it over there too.”
Along with Clemson, Uiagalelei holds offers from Alabama, Oregon, Southern Cal, Florida State, Auburn, Georgia, Oklahoma and a lot of other major programs.
It is still relatively early in his recruitment, so Uiagalelei isn’t putting a timetable on his decision right now. He is keeping his options open as a slew of schools are recruiting him hard already.
“A lot of schools are showing me a lot of love,” he said. “Clemson, Oklahoma, Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon, Washington… There’s a bunch of schools. Alabama, LSU… There’s been a lot of schools that show me a lot of love.”
Not only is Uiagalelei a star in football, but he is an elite baseball player as well and enjoys playing on the diamond just as much as the gridiron.
“I like both of them,” he said. “I like football during football season, and I like baseball during baseball.”
Uiagalelei is considered by many to be a potential high-round Major League Baseball draft pick, so he may have a big decision to make after high school — whether to turn pro in baseball, or play one or both sports at the college level.
“I have thought about that, if I get drafted out of high school,” he said. “For me, it just depends on how much money the baseball team offers.”
While Uiagalelei is not claiming any favorites in his recruitment right now, Clemson has certainly made a strong impression so far.
“It’s a great program, first of all, a great school,” he said. “I like the environment over there. I like where it’s at. I like the coaches a lot there, and just how good of a program it is. Every year they’re in the top four and the College Football Playoff… I like it a lot.”
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